35 Hour Week – The Teacher Contract

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The working hours and duties of teachers are negotiated nationally and form part of the agreed conditions of service for teachers (SNCT-Part 2 Appendix 2.7)

The individual and collective work of teachers should be capable of being undertaken within the 35 hour working week.

Working Year and Working Week (SNCT-Part 2 Section 3)

  • The working year for teachers shall consist of 195 days of which 190 days will coincide with the school year for pupils with the remaining five days being worked by the individual teachers on duties as planned by the council.
  • Teachers shall have a 35 hour working week. The working week shall apply on a pro rata basis to teachers on part-time contracts.
    Within the 35-hour week, a maximum of 22.5 hours will be devoted to class contact.
  • An allowance of no less than one third of the teacher’s actual class contact commitment is provided for preparation and correction. The use of remaining time will be subject to agreement at school level within LNCT guidelines,
  • All tasks which do not require the teacher to be on the school premises can be carried out at a time and place of the teacher’s choosing: teachers will notify the appropriate manager of their intention in this respect.
  • Teachers have a contractual requirement to complete a maximum of 35 hours of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) per annum. Teachers on part-time contracts will complete CPD per annum on a pro rata basis

In the School

Each educational establishment will prepare a school plan in accordance with the Standards in Scotland’s Schools etc Act 2000. The plan will reflect establishment, local and national priorities. Plans will take account of staffing and other resources required.

Each educational establishment will prepare an annual programme of activities, which require the involvement of teachers. The use of the remaining time (that is, time beyond the combined class contact and preparation/correction allowance- approximately 190 hours) will be subject to agreement at school level and will be planned to include a range of activities, such as:

  • additional time for preparation and correction;
  • parents meetings;
  • staff meetings;
  • preparation of reports, records etc;
  • forward planning;
  • formal assessment;
  • professional review and development;
  • curriculum development;
  • additional supervised pupil activity; and
  • Career-Long Professional Learning.

Individual teachers will use their professional judgement in relation to the prioritisation of tasks. In exercising their professional judgement, teachers will require to take account of objectives determined at school, local authority and national levels.

For most teachers, preparation and correction will be the most time-consuming activities outside class contact time. This needs to be reflected in the way that a teacher’s working time is deployed. In terms of the remaining time, teachers will be available for meetings and other collective activities during the course of the 35 hour working week. If a teacher is not required to be on the school premises for certain duties, for example preparation and correction, these may be undertaken at a time and place of the teacher’s own choosing. Teachers will be expected to notify the appropriate line manager of their intentions in this respect.

The SSTA recommends that all members ‘use their professional judgment in relation to the prioritisation of tasks’ and work within the contracted 35 hour week.

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